Making Eco-Friendly Decisions Doesn't Have To Be Cost Prohibitive

Eco Friendly Homes

Leading an environmentally-friendly lifestyle is becoming more significant with every passing year. While no individual can make as much change as big companies, the personal responsibility of preserving the natural surroundings to uphold society for future generations is a reality for everybody.

One of the fundamental ways for people to make a difference is through homeownership. You can limit your energy consumption and reduce your impact on the environment by implementing sustainable practices in your daily life. 

What Is Home Sustainability?

Home sustainability is a practice that incorporates better water, electricity, and resource usage to promote energy efficiency. On an island like Maui, it's even more important to be energy conscious and make every effort to reduce unnecessary energy consumption. If you have a condo in a place like Kihei or Lahaina, you will need to run air conditioning frequently and the costs can add up. 

It's all about mindfulness of your power output and awareness of areas where you can optimize. By promoting sustainability, you'll reduce your carbon footprint and see a positive change in the world around you. 

If you're unsure where to start, let's examine seven popular trends that recently emerged in this area. Remember, you don't have to implement all at once or go all out if you're uncomfortable with an idea. Every small change counts towards a better result.

Trend #1: Green Home Practices

Green homes exist in all shapes and sizes. The only two criteria your property has to meet to count as 'green' are that it consists of materials and facilitates functions that support sustainable living. For example, you could add a composting area or a pool for collecting rainwater in your garden. You might consider smarter ways to process waste or plant a bush garden to clear the air around the home. 

All these small changes add up to reduce your carbon footprint. Still, the two best ways to promote sustainability are:

  • Green materials. You'd be surprised to see how often eco-friendlier material options beat concrete in insulation, protection, and even design. If possible, use them for renovating or rebuilding. Building small an efficient is also the way to do, many have gravitated towards building tiny homes as a means to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

  • Renewable energy. While getting a green power source could initially be a costly investment, it pays off in the long run.

Introducing these two changes makes the most difference for the environment. Plus, it boosts your home value, which could be significant if you ever decide to sell the property.

Trend #2: Smart Home Devices

Smart housing is a distinct concept, but it can serve the same purpose as green homes. 

This approach puts an emphasis on technology and the way it can reduce everyday stress and optimize performance. However, a part of that performance is energy use, and that's where sustainability comes into play. For example:

  • Smart lighting. These devices are inexpensive and easy to install. They ensure no lights are on when there's nobody around the house, reducing energy waste.

  • Smart thermostat. You might leave your heating at a higher setting if you expect to return home from a chilly day, sacrificing efficiency for comfort. Smart thermostats eliminate the need for such compromises.

  • Smart irrigation. If you have a garden, you could set up a system that determines how much water you spend based on the weather. 

  • Smart power strips. Your appliances not in use still consume a lot of power if they stay plugged in. Power strips prevent energy from going to any stove, microwave, or charger you're not actively utilizing.

Employing any of these trends boosts convenience, with increased sustainability being the cherry on top. These new gadgets are a fantastic example of technology blending with environmental concerns, creating a wholesome system that promotes better living.

Trend #3: Passive Housing

The passive housing trend is a new idea in the real estate industry. It's a way to build sustainably from the get-go, boosting eco-friendliness by reducing energy consumption. Passive energy relies on home orientation. The more natural light enters through windows and provides the property with non-electrical lighting and heat, the better. Having large glass surfaces across the walls is also a necessity. 

The main goal is to get enough heating to the home through the influence sunlight has on glass surfaces. That way, you get a system that's independent of technology and human effort. It's also a good idea to plant some trees that grow leaves across the sunny side. That way, the rooms don't get overheated and go to the opposite extreme during the summer.

Trend #4: Recycled Materials

Recycling is another well-known eco-friendly practice. Separating your waste is fantastic, but you could go a step further and make sure your home consists of recycled materials, too. You won't see a quality reduction, either, thanks to modern approaches to reworking materials to create recycled alternatives. For instance:

  • Reused soils for garden landscaping

  • Reclaimed brick and stone for construction

  • Recycled steel for containers, appliances, and even roof shingles

  • Countertops from stone or recycled glass

  • Reclaimed wood for furniture and storage areas

  • Recycled plastic for bins and lighter furniture

In reality, you don't have to use new materials for any item found in an average house. The only downside could be the price. It sometimes costs more to get well-recycled supplies and hire manufacturers capable of working with them.

Trend #5: Outdoor Living Spaces

This trend isn't as much about sustainability as it is about promoting the idea of letting nature be indoors. It's also significant because it helps people get more comfortable with other concepts related to eco-friendliness. Many homes in Wailea feature wonderful indoor/outdoor living concepts. 

If you're interested, comfortable outdoor living spaces that extend from your indoor areas are possible for all climates. Designing the home to feature a natural flow between your rooms and the outdoors is an excellent way to:

  • promote passive heating

  • have more plants surround your property

  • introduce smaller systems such as rainwater collection

You can make it fancy, too, with glass doors, drop-down screens, or even outdoor fireplaces.

Trend #6: Skipping Pre-Assembled Furniture

Purchasing pre-assembled furniture means that more work and energy went into building it in a factory somewhere. On the other hand, buying items for assembly saves money, gives you a chance to develop DIY skills, and lets you choose recycled materials. 

That way, you're doing your part in ensuring as little energy as possible is getting used for building your furniture.

Luckily, numerous furnishings nowadays come in easy, personalizable, assemble-yourself models. Think about bookshelves and tables from IKEA. 

Other companies picked up the trend, too, increasing the pool of available options. For example, the kitchen cabinets you can check out here are ready-to-assemble and look modern and stylish. 

Plus, as with outdoor spaces, this new inclination supports future sustainability acceptance by making you more comfortable with alternative solutions.

Trend #7: Multigenerational Homes

Although the nuclear family is still a prominent trend among younger generations, there's been a shift towards purpose-built multigenerational homes. Essentially, these properties consist of two separate homes under one roof. 

The idea is that you won't have to build another house for your children once it's time for them to move out. You already introduced the foundational sustainability practices during the building stage, too.

Moreover, homeowners can monetize the extra space before having children by renting out the other home.

Final Thoughts

Finally, remember that a sustainable life looks different for every individual. The ideas you implement depend on your finances and current situation. Start slow, and build a more eco-friendly lifestyle with time.

For example, you'd have to be moving to go for passive housing or multigenerational homes, while renovation leaves room for green or recycled materials. If you have some extra funds that you're ready to invest in your home, opting for smart devices is the way to go. 

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Evan Harlow Maui

Get started on your journey to owning property on Maui by getting in touch with us at Maui Elite Property. 

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